Sunday, August 30, 2009
The Kururi castle in Kimitsu Chiba prefecture, was built in 1540 during the Muromachi period by Mariyatsu Takeda. The castle was used as a modern fortress until the Meiji restoration period in the late 18th century, when it was destroyed.
The remains are now a park. In 1975 the observation tower of the castle was reconstructed out of concrete and is used now as an exhibition center, it is however significantly different from the original.
Official Site (Japanese)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Ikebukuro, in the Toshima ward, in the northwest of Tokyo, is the second of the three Tokyo sub cities and like the other two, Shinjuku and Shibuya, has a great concentration of large department and specialty stores around the station.
The Ikebukuro station is one of the main commuter’s hubs, the station’s daily average of passengers is 2.8 million people,
The North area has a large entertainment district that attracts a daily average of 1 million customers. Above, sunshine road, leading to sunshine city building complex.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Ema plaques are used by temple worshippers to write wishes.
On the Nara period it was believed that the god shinme rode a horse, according to this belif, horses were given to the temple as offering to shinme. Due to the prohibitive cost of a horse, some worshipers offered paper and wood horses figures. Later on the Heian period wooden plaques with a horse’s picture on it replaced the figures.
Recently ema plaques display a variety of pictures representing the visited temple gods and protection.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Jizo do in Hase temple, Kamakura is the hall dedicated to Fukuju Jizo.
Surrounding the hall there are thousands of small Jizo, statutes, each one is dedicated by parents to the comfort of the soul of their unborn child
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Hase temple founded on year 736 AD, according to the tradition in the year 721 AD, the Reverend Tokudo-Shonin made two statues of the goddess kannon from a holy tree. The statue made form the tree lower part was enshrined in Yamato (present Nara), while the statue made form the upper part where thrown into the sea with a prayer that it will reappear to save the people. The statue drifted to Nagai beach sixteen years later and was moved to current location, where the rev. Tokudo-shonin was invited to construct a temple to enshrine the statue.
The temple has a fantastic view of the Kamakura bay, a garden of a variety of flora to keep the temple with flowers all year round.
Other halls on the precincts: Halls dedicated to two of seven lucky gods Benzaiten on the Benten ketsu cave, and daikokuten on the dailoku-dou hall.
There is also a Jizo-dou hall dedicated to the soul of unborn children.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The seven gods of fortune are the seven lucky gods of the Japanese mythology.
The gods are: Jurojin (god of wisdom), Fukurokuju (God of longevity), Benzaiten (goddess of art and beauty), Bishamontei (god of warriors), Hotei (god of abundance and good health), Daikokuten (god of commerce and trade), and Ebisu (god of fishers and merchants).
All the gods are based on China’s eight immortals, with the exception of Ebisu.
There is a hike in Ogose, Saitama that visits temples dedicated to each of the seven gods.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Is not widely known that the Tokyo big Buddha in Jorenji is Japan's third largest, after Nara and Kamakura
Jorenji temple is an historical site visited by the Tokugawa Shoguns , relocated from Nakajuku on 1971 to current location on Akatsuka.
The Big Buddha with 13 meters of height and a weight of 32 tons, was build on 1977 to pray for protection for Tokyo against disasters, official site (Japanese).
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
On a previous post I wrote about tanabata, originally the festival was held on the Japanese lunisolar calendar, around a month behind the current calendar, due to this some festivals are held on July 7th, and others are held around August.
Shibuya is celebrating tanabata in the month of August. Tanabata star ornaments decorate center gai, and the surrounding areas.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Originally, Odaiba designated the small fortress islands constructed to protect Edo from attack by sea. The name now represents a large artificial island in the port of Tokyo. One of the original islands has been restored and is open to the public now as 'the metropolitan Daiba Park'.
Odaiba has many distinctive buildings like the Fuji TV studios, where studio related activities are open to the public making it a popular destination for the TV studio program’s fans.
The shopping areas Decks, aqua city and palette town also draw large number of visitors. The area facing the Tokyo waterfront with his panoramic view of The Rainbow bridge, and its dramatic sunset views receive also a great number of visitors including passengers on yakatabune boats than visit the area every night.